A Note To Northeast Ohio Rescue Groups

And, no it’s not a warm and fuzzy note…..

I think ALL the shelters in Northeast Ohio, all the dog clubs (training and showing, purebred and performance), trainers, educators and all the rescues, every stinkin’ one of you, need to get together and figure out ways to help animals.

Here’s what needs to happen:

We all need to educate people esp., kids in the schools, about proper pet ownership, responsibility, compassion, bite prevention and breed education. We need to educate them as to where to get a dog or cat when the time is right.  A shelter, a legitimate rescue, a responsible breeder.  We need to educate people to think with their heads, to research it all out.  We need to shock the hell out of 4th graders through middle school age kids, which is when their compassion level seems to sink and their need to fit into a group and be “cool” rises. That’s where dog fighters find their recruits and it goes all across all demographics.

We need to find ways, funds, donations to provide more low cost or no cost spay/neuters and med clinics etc.This is what (IMO) is what is needed.  Look to organizations like C.H.A.I.N.E.D. in Detroit and “Break The Chain” in New York who help individuals with proper fencing, housing, educating and low cost or no cost “speutering.”  Northeast Ohio, as of this writing, has no organization doing their kind of work.  Everyone seems to sit in their nice, middle-class homes and bitch about all those ghetto or redneck types with their dogs on 20 pound 6 foot long chains. They post pictures and post their outrage on Facebook. It IS outrageous and disheartening!  People on social media are honestly sick to death of seeing it.  They are sick of seeing dead dogs. Come up with a solution that’s not a knee-jerk one.  “Get rid of all the breeders!” Yeah, that one won’t work.

Put on your brave face, your big girl/boy pants and see how you can help, person to person.  Half of you won’t even go into inner city schools and do educational programs and answer questions.  Any kind of crazy question and I’ve gotten a lot of them.

There is a desperate need for fosters.  So why are people turned down all the time?  Good people.  Why aren’t there local seminars sponsored by many rescue groups with a vet and a good trainer about how to foster successfully! Especially helping potential fosters figure out the logistics of adding another dog into their own home. Crates?  Temporary fencing?  Introduction training?  Why isn’t that in place and offered often?

And since we’re on a bit of a rant….I’m really sick and tired of all the damn pit bull rescues fighting and spatting with each other like a bunch of wet cats in a barrel.  As if the poor “breed” (if you can call it that since it’s a mix of bully types) doesn’t have about a thousand strikes against it, you all are beating your swords against your shields  “Our way or NO Way!”. Get off the damn bitch-mobile and start working together.  Get the best of your best out into the public eye and show a uniform front.

There are WAY too many women involved in rescue in NE Ohio —- there is too much bitchy estrogen running around. We need to find a way to get more men involved.  Grill some steaks and hire a stripper…I don’t care. Whatever it takes.  Hit up athletes, business types, men, men, men…we need men!  We need more male spokesmen. Men love animals too and their way of helping may surprise you! Having a guy tell another guy why he needs to be man and get Buster’s nuts removed seems to work better!

I’m sick to death of rescue people bashing folks in purebred dogs, flinging all that “You’re BAD, evil, You are the sole contributing factor to the over-population problem!!” with their one litter a year.  First of all most the hash-flingers don’t even know anyone seriously involved with purebred dogs. I’ve asked. Many rescue folks have never taken their dog to any kind of class, hired a trainer or tried to compete in any venue with your mixed breed!  The snobbery of He’s Just My Pet.  Not that this isn’t the most noble gift dogs give us but they are capable of much more.

You WANT people in purebred dogs on your “side.”  Are you crazy not to get to know them?  Even court them a bit?  No, they will not support your total breeding moratorium and for wiser reasons than the average rescuer could possibly comprehend and it has NOTHING to do with The Almighty Dollar. Here’s a new flash, kids.  The serious “hobby” breeder is not what is causing your pet over-population problem. He or she is the least offensive and will be the first to be punished by your breeding moratorium.  They plan a breeding better than you probably planned who were you going to marry and have kids with!

They have connections most rescues only dream about it.  Don’t think for one nano-second they don’t know about the pet over-population problem and aren’t distressed and sickened by it.  Throughout the country, most of the time, someone who shows purebred dogs is one the first on site of any given puppy mill or hoarder bust.  No one, and I mean, NO ONE is more incensed about Puppy Mills or Hoarding than the folks in Purebred Dogs. I’ve noticed in the rescue community a ton of sun-burnt nostrils on self-righteous up-turned noses when the subject of someone who “shows dogs” comes up. Since so many of you know very little about that world of showing, obedience, agility, or other dog sports or haven’t been immersed in it as a trainer, handler, assistant, judge, groomer you are bashing a group of animal lovers en masse without a great deal of personal knowledge.

One must only look at the Puppy Mill Case of over a hundred Rottweilers in Texas to understand what Rottie fans, owners, breeders did to pitch in and really help these dogs in need. Click here for an article about it.

Seriously, if the bottom line is that dream of a no-kill shelter or the banishment of Puppy Mills do not count out people in the Fancy of Showing Dogs.  Your little rescue is not on national TV being watched by millions of people worldwide but Westminister Kennel Club is!  You honestly think that the WKC winner couldn’t use his time on “Good Morning America” to tell folks to spay and neuter  to get a dog from a shelter, or a breed rescue.

People who show dogs are not the enemy!  They would never condone a puppy mill or a hoarder. So get off your high horse and stop slamming them.  They love dogs too!

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Two Left, Three Returned

Thank God/dess For Feliaway Spray!

You’ve heard of Boomerang Kids?  You fling them out and they keep coming back. And Back. They’re like velcro, you can’t get rid of them?  It’s usually some stupid sh*t, like they can’t keep a job and they hate their room-mates.  I know, sometimes it’s legit.  20-somethings seem to have a nagging propenisty for boomeranging!

We now have a case (yet again) of Boomerang Cats.  The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Dink and Envy FINALLY left to be with their mother-owner, as they should.  They’d been here for five years, leaving briefly in July 2009, or was it 2010….time is blurred.

Now D&E are basically pretty nice cats.  Dink is the little one and she is the best cat with little kids I’ve ever encountered, barring the kittens I raised.

Envy is her much larger, (by about 10-12 pounds) easy-going, full litter brother. He and my Rufus got along as well as 2 cats can.

Rufus and Dink? Well, let’s just say it was a stand-off. He’d stand and she’d back off.

Through an almost surreal series of “I Can’t Make This Sh*t Up If I Tried” they are back.  Hopefully, temporarily.

Plus One.

That would be Lilith the B*tch.

I came home from rehearsal Thursday night to utter chaos in the basement.  The S.U. is frantically (for him, of course, so that’s a casual-frantic, if you can picture such a thing)  spraying Feliaway

everywhere.  Envy has his dopey, “Duh, WTH?” look and it trying to find someplace to hide.  Dink is pacing like a new father in the waiting room. The Step Kid (SK) is somewhere, loudly yapping on her phone.  There’s a quiet stranger (female) somewhere on the first floor of my house.  Lilith is yowling on the landing of the basement steps as only a Siamese can yowl and when she isn’t waking the dead, she’s hissing, spitting and swatting at anything that moves. And Rufus is at the midway up the basement stairs, staring at Lilith from his meatloaf position doing his best Robert DeNiro impression, “You talkin’ to me?”

OK.  And there is only ONE cat crate.  The SK stuffed 3 cats into one crate.  Wow.  No wonder there’s just a LITTLE bit of stress vibe going on here.

Yesterday, after I recovered from the total shock of finding the crawl space door open, which almost gave me a coronary, I spent a good portion of the day, rearranging the basement and fixing Comfy Places For Cats To Sleep here and there. I also had to come up with a quick Bungie Cord Fix for the recalcitrant crawl space door. I did laundry, which didn’t send Lilith into the rafters.  She had chosen the SU’s desk chair as a place worthy of Her Highness’ arse. I put a dog mat on it. She deemed this also worthy.

Last night she deemed that the SU’s lap was worthy of her….but he’d better not pet her.

To answer those FB questions:

Lilith is one my my SK’s cats, Lilith, who yes, was not among the others you’ve met, Wonderful Trainer Person! We are plying her with treats, all of which she snubs… But still, we give her lots of vocal praise and positive reinforcement for neutral behavior and we’ve told her that, in this house, we don’t hiss at other cats.

Yes, we actually look at her and say, “We don’t do that here.  You’re a guest here and that’s not how we behave!”  Don’t ask me why but for some odd reason this seems oddly calming to both B*tchy Cat and Humans.

NO, Dearest Friend she and her siblings better not be staying.  They are supposed to leave by next weekend.  I will, of course, believe this when I see it.  If anything about the last 5 years has taught me is I now have an unhealthy dose of skepticism. Call it The Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome. My innocence is pretty well shot.

More importantly, I will believe their departure has stuck when they do not (yet again) appear on my door step in some circumstance of High Drama & Angst.

For now, Rufus is upstairs and they are downstairs in the basement.

Lilith is Not Nice To Other Kitties.  She has Dink and Envy cowed (which is amazing because Envy outweighs her by about 12 pounds!  Ah, but Rufus….he’s another story.  She hisses, spits, swats, growls and Rufus’ reaction is, “Yeah.  Sure. Whatever. WTF, I’m not moving.”  I figured, for his stress levels, to let him have the run of the upstairs so he can sleep with us etc.

Lilth is also one of those uber-annoying cats that does the rubbing-marking-flirting-against-your-leg thing, jumps on your lap, talking the whole time and curls up on you as cute as a bug in a rug.  BUT if you even put your hand near to her, she does the hiss-swat-bite-snap maneuver.

I HATE cats like that.  It’s so bipolar.  It’s like “Regular Crappy Cat Crap X 12” stuff and I HATE it.  The good news is she’s getting less stressed hour by hour.  We don’t allow catnip in our house as it encourages crazy-ass behavior in D&E. (The Catnip Crazies seems to amuse the hell out of the SK but we are NOT amused. Use a damn laser pointer; they have fun with that too!)

They’re in a safe place here and our home (for the most part) is pretty calming and she’s probably picking up that Dink & Envy are totally cool in the basement.  I made about 5 places for them to sleep and snuggle, 2 food and water combos and clean the litter box twice a day.  It’ll be fine. It’s just annoying as hell because we can’t have the basement door open.

Thank GOD for Feliaway spray!  

I never believed in that stuff and now I’m a total convert!

Was It Just A Year Ago?

Sad Elke in October 2011

It was a day much like today, weather wise. Mid-40s, maybe a bit warmer, gloomy and damp but not raining.

I was going to meet a cattledog pup today.  An older pup actually. IF Elke would be OK with him, maybe we’d adopt him.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Tisha A. for helping Elke as well.

She’d lost her anchor, Jesse Ann and she had actually gone into a bit of a depression.  She slept a lot and moped. As much as I loved so many of the dogs I’d worked with, my heart (and even the SU’s heart too) were a little void. Jesse and Winger had gone to wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge. 2011 was a tough year.

A friend of mine, Becky L. had posted on FB!

“Check this out, Mia!” and there was a picture of an older cattledog puppy.  My heart fluttered a bit, and I contacted the foster mom whom I knew from the Humane Society: Jen Mauger, the owner and trainer of L’Chaim Canine.

Megan with her soon-to-be doggie nephew

I was worried because Elke isn’t the most dog friendly dog and I haven’t helped to improve that, really. But Jen assured me that we’d test her out with Jen’s uber-friendly collie, Shay. (This wonderful, silly dog is, by the way, my Hero….Love that dog!)  Elke did too.

But first, Jen wanted me to meet The Dog Called Bandit.  I might not click with him.  I agreed. By the way….why folks name dogs with no facial mask “Bandit” is beyond me but that was his intake name. He was saved by Humane Officer Shannon at the Humane Society of Greater Akron.  She is another one of my Heroines!

Jen brought the bundle of cowpup into our yard, he seemed very friendly and curious.  I picked him up and he still had puppy breath, just the last vestiges of it, and soft puppy fur.  I held him to me heart, nuzzled my nose into his neck and I started tearing up. I love Elke (our Schmooby-Do) with all my heart but I’m a sucker for a blue cattledog. After Elke’s successful meet and play with Shay, we introduced the pup into the mix!  They got along just fine.  Thank you, Shay!  We brought the little guy inside the house and all was still well!

The Spousal Unit meetsthe pup for the first time.

Of course, I’m a sucker and my Spousal Unit knew it.  He met him the next Sunday at one of L’Chaim’s classes!

Yep, we’re sold on a little blue dog.

Marty immediately christened him “Artie.”

“Why Artie?”

“He looks like an Artie!” And WAREHOUSE 13 is the SU’s favorite show!

He became officially ours, adoption paperwork and all, on Dec. 22nd, 2011.

He was a HUGE trial in many ways.  House-training, chewing, mouthing, biting, etc. etc.  Etc. I cursed my friend Becky many-a-day! I spent hours often wondering what the hell I was thinking…..

He started growing……and Elke started to prick up, get some energy and life back,  play, growl, get after her new little brother and lose weight!

His first Christmas and New Year’s came and went.  Puppy classes! Still working on the house training thing…..

And growing…..despite his often less than enthused big sister…..

And his color was still very light….but he was growing….This is Art on Jan. 1, 2012

And he was growing…..and getting tons of nicknames!

Art, Artie, Artie Blue, and most often BLOOBY!

March 11, 2012 (below)

…and growing…and his color was beginning to darken……and he learned to LOVE to play Fetch!  After first he had NO idea he was supposed to bring it (the ball, Frisbee, toy) BACK!

…and growing…..late May (below)!  Finally he’s “gotten” the House Training thing and can really hold it!

July 2012 (below)

Dog Classes and fun!  He learned what “water” was all about, thanks to his new doggie friends, Oreo and McKinley! (July 2012)

July 2012 saw some BIG milestones…..he is now taller than his big sister…..

AND…..

Blooby get his Canine Good Citizen!

Fall time comes and we need to decide on a birthday for him…..

The SU picks Sept. 21, 2011 as his birth date.

“Why?”

“He told me that’s when he was born.”

“OK then….” (First birthday picture)

Fall 2012, he’s beginning to mature….little by little.  We still need to work on NOT reacting to seeing kitties and meowing, being gentle around little, little kids…although he’s good with older kids….but he loves to meet other dogs and play!

He has his first overnight with Auntie Gayle, Uncle Ray and Oreo and McKinley…..

He has fun swimming and socializing at the dog park, going for off-leash walks and learning new things!

Picture with Santa at the Humane Society, where he gets to see people who saved him!

And now it’s a year.  A whole year has gone by…..

We love you, you crazy, nutty, smart-as-a-whip Blooby Boy! And we thank all the people (and dogs) who brought you into our lives…..Tisha A., Becky L. Jen M. Kristen B. and Officer Shannon….

(However, when he’s bad, we still blame Becky — it’s all her fault.)

Artie Blue 

Truhart’s Find The Artifact, CGC

I HATE Printers!

Computers can drive me bugger-bat-sh*t crazy at times.  I know just enough to be relatively dangerous about certain aspects of them.

But I HATE printers.  I hate them!

They never seem to work, or they forget that, yes, indeed you have them actually CONNECTED to your computer via a cable or USB.

Or they print PART of your picture (card, whatever) and the rest of it looks like crap. I mean look at this P.O.S.  It’s not like the ink is completely out!  And photo paper is so expensive.  Let’s not even TALK about how much ink costs!

Or, if you have one of those all-in-ones, you COULD scan in the past but can’t scan now.

Or it recognizes ONE of the computers on your network (of course the one you don’t have access to) but not YOUR computer!

It can print from your computer but, god forbid it would scan TO your computer!

I don’t care if you’re using a PC, a MAC or a Cat-In-The-Hat….

I don’t care if your printer is new or old.  I don’t care what OS you are running. I don’t care if you are at home with one or in a business with 5 zillion.

They suck.

If you install their stupid software, it usually takes over your computer and loads it up with extraneous crap that you don’t need and hogs your memory.

This damn printer is about one month old and the photo I just printed looks like crap and the stupid thing won’t scan to my computer.  I don’t care about your pretty touch screen panel if YOU DON’T WORK THE WAY YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO,  you stupid piece of sh*t.

And tech support on printers is the most suckazoid non-support on the planet.

Always.